Wholesome meals selections begin with shade

Vegetables are a mystery in my home.

I always want to have more of it in my family’s diet. I also want my family to have a meal plan – at least one that is slightly more advanced than “what’s in the fridge / freezer than can be quickly fixed at the end of the day”.

So tempting are the summer visits to the farmers’ market, the vegetables colorful and colorful after a blah and starchy winter. But even if I buy the purple carrots and cauliflower, red onion, yellow and green zucchini, I still have to figure out how to use them in dishes my family will eat.

It’s mainly about choosing a healthier diet and not being afraid of experiments, said Kate Meyer from Arenzville.

“Just be creative,” she said. “That’s a lot of what cooking is, just something to do with the product you have.”

Meyer was working with her husband Bernie at the Lincoln Square Farmers Market on a Tuesday on behalf of their son Neal Meyer at the Meyer Farms booth. The Meyer booth had yellow and green zucchini for sale, along with cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and a few other vegetables.

Meyer suggested a mix of yellow and green zucchini and said yellow zucchini was “sweeter” than green.

“You can sauté or bake it,” she said. “I’ll cut it into a thicker slice when I want to bake it.”

To fry it, she uses ham instead of sausage as protein to add some flavor while reducing the fat.

To bake it, season zucchini slices with a mixture of Italian spices, garlic, and onions and “throw everything together in a baking dish at 375 degrees” with some cheese on top, she said.

Zucchini can also be added to casseroles that call for other vegetables, Meyer said.

“Grind it up and put it in casseroles as another vegetable,” she said. “Make a vegetable medley casserole. Just rub it in and throw it in there. “

Meyer is more interested in vegetables than fast food, she said.

“As a retired nurse, I enjoy serving nutritious food,” she said. “I’m interested in food because we have to eat. And I want to eat something valuable. “

Browsing cookbooks or searching for recipes on the internet can help generate new ideas, she said.

“Educate yourself about what you know is good for you … and try to pick things that are tempting that you want to eat,” she said.

Like vegetables in a rainbow of colors.

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My goal with vegetables is to find dishes that my family will eat. I don’t mean to cheat on them, and I don’t lie about ingredients. That said, some dishes have a quality that you have to know about. During a cooking tour and dinner that followed, the family member who refused the easily identifiable zucchini chips on the grounds of not liking zucchini happily ate the zucchini coleslaw. I didn’t try to hide the zucchini, but …

My attempt at trying a chocolate zucchini cake was disappointing. Not terrible, but disappointing which is why I didn’t include the recipe here. And my disappointment had nothing to do with the 2 cups zucchini in the recipe, so I’ll keep trying and hope to be able to offer this recipe later this summer. Though I might be able to reserve my future zucchini purchases for a few more zucchini chips as well.

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Parmesan Zucchini Chips

These were so good that I ate them straight out of the oven with no dip – and used the leftover zucchini coins to make another batch the next night – although they would go well with a marinara sauce or ranch dressing , depending on what meal you have left over. I used a full ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and enjoyed the heat, although the slight kick that followed only stung my throat a little. However, one of my kids would have liked to have added more cayenne pepper, and it’s a recipe that is easy to tweak to personal preference.

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

⅓ cup of parmesan cheese

2 pounds of zucchini, cut into ¼-inch rounds

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and parmesan in a baggie.

Add the zucchini rounds to a 1 gallon bag. Add the olive oil, seal the bag and shake to coat the zucchini rounds. Add the seasoned Parmesan cheese to the baggie with the oiled zucchini, seal and shake to coat.

Place the coated zucchini rounds in a single layer on the prepared sheet and lightly spray the tops with cooking oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the desired crispness is achieved.

Take out of the oven and serve immediately, without the dip of your choice.

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Zucchini Salad

I used a mix of yellow and green zucchini and a mix of orange, purple and yellow carrots to give this coleslaw a colorful vibe that looks like confetti in a bowl. While the recipe calls for ½ red onions, you can adjust this amount based on your onion tolerance. You could also cut the zucchini and red onion into thin strips to give the ingredients a little more definition. I found that rubbing anything caused the flavors to mix and the veggies to lose some of their ability to be easily identified, which is a plus if you have picky eaters who otherwise likely turn up their noses at the sight of zucchini .

2 cups of grated zucchini

1 cup of grated carrot

½ red onion, grated

½ cup of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce, if desired

Mix the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, sugar and Tabasco sauce in a small bowl. Put aside.

Grate and mix the zucchini, carrot and red onion. Add dressing, mix and serve.

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